GRK 2154 - Materials for Brain

GRK colloquium talk by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Löscher: Intracerebral drug delivery for pharmacoresistant epilepsy

Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacy, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany, and Center for Systems Neuroscience, Hannover, Germany

Nov 22, 2018 from 05:15 PM to 06:30 PM


Intracerebral drug delivery may offer hope for many currently intractable patients for whom drug developments and surgical advances have proved disappointing. Such delivery methods are already used routinely for brain tumor therapy and will be clinically developed for epilepsy soon. Advantages of intracerebral drug administration include (1) bypassing of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), (2) overcoming BBB-associated resistance mechanisms such as overexpression of efflux transporters, e.g., P-glycoprotein, (3) allowing to use substances (e.g., peptides) that normally do not penetrate into the brain, (4) allowing to use toxins that are not suited for systemic administration, (5) achieve higher local drug concentrations vs. systemic administration, and (6) less drug adverse effects vs. systemic administration. However, there are also disadvantages/problems associated with intracerebral drug administration, including that it is an invasive method and thus only applicable as an alternative to resective surgery in patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy. Furthermore, the drug has to be administered continuously (e.g., via minipumps) to suppress recurrent seizures, and, dependent of the technique of drug delivery, drug distribution may be too restricted in target tissue to obtain a sufficient anticonvulsant effect. In addition, the choice of target tissue is important for the efficacy of intracerebral drug administration in epilepsy. Which of the emerging techniques will prove the most appropriate for clinical translational studies remains to be established. This talk will give a review on preclinical and clinical data on intracerebral drug administration in epilepsy.

Peer Wulff

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